Dr Bruce Tuckman published his model in 1965.


Bruce Wayne Tuckman is probably best known for a short article - 'Developmental sequence in small groups' first published in 1965. Currently Bruce W. Tuckman directs the Academic Learning Lab at Ohio State University (from 1998). Previously he had been a Professor of Educational Psychology at Florida State University (1983-98).



Tuckman has come up with a theory that each team will go through different stages while working together. Tuckman's model explains that as the team develops maturity and ability, relationships establish, and the leader changes leadership style.

There are four sections in his model these are as followed:

  • forming
  • storming
  • norming
  • performing
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This stage is where there is a lot of dependence on the leader for guidance and direction. This is where individuals are still unclear on their roles and responsibilities. Individuals also test the nature of the situation and the task.


Decisions don't come easily within group and there could be conflict. There may be emotional resistance to the demands of the task. The team needs to be focused on its goals to avoid becoming distracted by relationships and emotional issues.


This is where the group comes together and can respond well to instruction of the leader. The roles and responsibilities of are clear and have been accepted by all team members. Big decisions are made by the group as a whole and smaller tasks are delegated within the group. There is general respect for the leader and some of leadership is more shared by the team.


This is when the team are fully aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it. The team has a shared vision and is able to stand on its own feet with no interference or participation from the leader. The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur but now they are resolved within the team positively and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team.